Von Maur "department managers" Reviews | Glassdoor

Von Maur Reviews

Updated Sep 13, 2019

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Found 864 reviews

2.8
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37%
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38%
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Von Maur CEO James D. von Maur
James D. von Maur
434 Ratings
  1. Helpful (4)

    "Department Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Manager in Rochester, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Benefits, paid holidays for FT employees, and overall good pay

    Cons

    Poor communication in management team, does not work to retain great employees and seems like it takes forever to get rid of poor quality associates (high turnover). Department managers are treated just as glorified sales associates (no growth/ challenging tasks). Strict dress code, woman are expected to do shipment, tear open and lift boxes in patyhouse and skirts/ dresses. Sales goals can be unreasonable and... creates stress amongst employees in the department. Prides themselves on being family oriented however when faced with difficulties with a family memeber or significant others there is little understanding / cooperation.

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    Advice to Management

    Retain the valuable employees. Communicate not only amongst one another but with your department managers. Managers are in place that do not have a clue what they are doing or acknowledge department successes/ failures or productivity. Need more of a presence on the sales floor.

    Von Maur2017-04-01
  2. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Iowa City, IA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur part-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Time off, holidays off, good compensation for work, perfect part-time job, awesome managers

    Cons

    retail weekend hours, my department manager did not like to hear suggestions.

    Von Maur2017-01-24
  3. Helpful (4)

    "Would Not Recommend"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Manager in Eden Prairie, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    You get holidays off and that's about the only pro I can think of for this job. You also get 2 weekends off a month if you're full time.

    Cons

    They say you get "time and a half" on Sundays but when they do schedule you on Sundays they give you less hours during the week so you're not actually making more money that week. No room for advancement past department manager because the hire most floor managers externally and the pay is low for department managers. Very conservative company, the dress code is ridiculous.. women have to wear a skirt or dress with... hosiery. You are required to work 6 days a week during holiday but also can't go over 40 hours so you don't get overtime. You constantly have to work in other departments because they're always understaffed. You're not allowed to have conversations with people in neighboring departments or you could get written up. If you're even 1 min late it counts as tardy and after 17 tardies you get fired. The list goes on! I've been in retail for 10 years and this was the worst job I've ever worked I don't recommend it.

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    Advice to Management

    Instead of sitting in your office all day every day get out on the sales floor and help out your departments and show them that you care and maybe the morale in the store will rise.

    Von Maur2017-01-20
  4. Helpful (4)

    "Meh."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Beauty Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur

    Pros

    No crazy holiday hours, time and a half on Sunday and holidays off plus one weekend a month. Not a bad schedule for retail. My co-workers were amazing. That being said, we mainly bonded over how horrible it was to work there...

    Cons

    Where do I start..... In the cosmetics department, there were ridiculously unrealistic goals for just about everything. From sales to these god awful "events" that we had to keep coming up with and booking. Essentially they wanted us to treat every single weekend like an event. They expected us to have appointments booked and thousands of dollars in sales for the day. We had to constantly be harassing customers on... the phone and through the mail to get them to come to these "events" that were actually not any different than any other day. It was literally just us, the same employees, doing makeovers. It was EMBARRASSING to try and rope people into them. Our sales goals weren't exactly high but the traffic in the store is nothing especially when a huge trendy mall is just down the road. Because of that, we couldn't always make our sales goals and management's only answer was "get on the phone". Because customers LOVE being called fifty times a week asking them to buy things and book appointments. Management loves to play favorites and once they decide they don't like you, they WILL find a reason to fire you. Example: I was consistently making my sales goal (with so much effort I was making myself mentally and physically ill) since I started working there. 6 months in, we had an extremely slow month and I missed it by a few dollars. I knew for a fact some of my coworkers had been missing their sales goals for months and they were only given a talk about improvement and that was that. Me? They gave me a written warning and said that if I struggled again next month, we would have to talk about "separating". To add insult to injury, department managers have a sales goal of their own. Meaning that if you step away to use the bathroom for two minutes your own MANAGERS, who are supposed to be building you up and helping, will sneak right in and steal a sale from your counter. And they wonder why we weren't making goal. This place is a revolving door of extremely talented people. In the short time I was there, I saw at least 8 or 9 people go and as far as I know from people I'm still in touch with, more people keep leaving. There's a reason for that, and it's not the employees' faults. Von Maur doesn't like people with realistic ideas and expectations or people with any desire to grow and develop professionally. The moment you start reaching too far, you become a threat. They only want people who are ready to fall in line and make some Iowa family who doesn't believe in women wearing pants, rich. It hurt me to have to leave the cosmetic line I was working for because the line itself is amazing and as an artist I learned a lot, but Von Maur was deteriorating my mental health and I couldn't stay there any longer. The last few weeks there were spent with DAILY fits of tears in the bathroom at the stress and the cattiness from my counter manager. Might I explain that this cattiness didn't stem from her being a bad person, it stemmed from the hostile and cutthroat environment that Von Maur creates with its unrealistic goals. My counter manager and I got on great until Von Maur gave us both a dressing down about meeting goals. Then it was sink or swim and every man for themselves. I cannot explain how relieved I was to leave this place because I didn't even notice how miserable it was making me until it was behind me and I saw how poor my quality of life was during the time I worked here. Honestly I could go on and on about the old fashioned and outdated dress code, the decor, the tone-deaf piano players, and so on and so forth. But just to keep it simple, don't work here. There are plenty of other department stores to work at and this nightmare from 1991 is not one of them.

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    Advice to Management

    Hire managers who actually manage and help their teams. Not just straight out of college girls and people who sit in their office all day. That way you won't have good managers quit the job on the spot in a flood of tears. Stop giving department managers sales goals. Their job is to manage and develop their team not to tear them down. And please for the love of god ENOUGH with these freaking events! Do you want to... know why Nordstrom, Bloomingdales and Macy's are making more money than you? It's because they carry trendy, relevant lines, don't have a revolving door of employees and their stores' dress code and design have been updated in the last 75 years. It's not about the events. The way to get more traffic in the store is to be on par with your competitors.

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    Von Maur2016-10-22
  5. Helpful (5)

    "Okay job, prepare for drama"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Assistant Department Manager-Women' S Shoes 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur

    Pros

    Enjoyed the merchandise, consistent with rules, good hours for retail, closed holidays and paid holidays plus PTO and sick time. Management will generally listen to you and thats about it. Easy to move up if you are motivated

    Cons

    Generally young out of college management that have never worked in retail that could use mentoring with a more senior store manager. Have less department managers as the store all seem very top heavy and the DMs are essentially glorified sales associates who don't get commission. Need to update policies as some seem outdated.

    Advice to Management

    Hire management that have more experience in dealing with higher volume employees. Find ways to boost morale within each store, mostly related to outdated policies

    Von Maur2016-09-14
  6. Helpful (3)

    "Reality of VM"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Von Maur full-time

    Pros

    Von Maur has the most delightful customers. The dress code, although some think is outdated, looks extremely professional. Hosiery is respectful and it looks professional and hygienic.

    Cons

    Von Maur is nothing like it promises. It may be a family organization, but is not supportive of others. We have had two ladies need serious surgeries, and VM would no approve their leave, or a mother who needed to stay home with her daughter after a serious illness. Some employees or toxic and hostile. There is one in about every department. Management gives the response that "you work with women" or "welcome to the... world of cosmetics." The management team is so inexperienced. Anyone who stays over 60 days can become a department manager, regardless of intelligence or understanding of team building.

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    Advice to Management

    To the very top management, build a solid management team. Empower your employees instead of treating them like criminals. I was a customer first and wish I would have kept my relationship with VM as that. Customers are treated wonderfully. Our return policy is very open. An employee must have their receipt, even when the transaction is easy to find using their VM charge card. Build in a TEAM bonus to encourage team... selling. Stop rewarding employees with embarrassing incentives, like $1 when you open an account. Really? Keep it. Donate those dollars to a local charity instead, and not United Way. Maybe one that empowers and supports women. Schedule team announcements instead of informing employees via the overhead that we are meeting "now" when we receive stock and need to open registers at that time. There's plenty of beautiful piano music. Change up the CDs. Please! If you want mature, experienced and intelligent people on your staff, you need to have managers that are at least that. It also makes for a better customer experience when employees stay longer than 60 days. The light burns out of almost every new hires eyes within 60 days. Take an employee survey. Visit the store and talk to the people on the floor. Manage by walking around and inspiring others. You really need to handle concerns of harassment and hostile work environment for the company and for employees. Those words have been used by 4 employees that I know of. Local management dismissed their concerns and actually encouraged the employee to leave VM or at least go home for the day when situations became intolerable instead of dealing with the REAL issues. VM should be an absolute delight, and employee relations should be a better reflection of what you want your customers to see, and think.

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    Von Maur2016-07-30
  7. Helpful (2)

    "BEWARE .. Not what it seems"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Manager in Lombard, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Time and a half Sundays Closed on holidays Paid holidays after a year 20% employee discount

    Cons

    Everything else besides the pros listed. You cannot be ONE minute late without being counted as tardy. Department managers have no say in anything and upper management breathes down your necks. Upper management majority of the time just makes up things as they go. They consider their employees robots and wants them to produce ridiculous figures. Honestly, just stay away. Theres no work life balance either and... don't stay true to their "family values"

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    Advice to Management

    I would love for upper management to work as a sales associate for a month and see if they are able to produce figures that they are looking for.

    Von Maur2016-08-12
  8. Helpful (1)

    "Retail Lobotomy"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Department Manager in Louisville, KY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Above average starting pay for the retail industry

    Cons

    As a department manager of the stock & housekeeping department, I was met with negativity almost from the start. It was obvious that this particular area had been plodding along without any leadership or supervision for quite some time and that's the way they liked it. Some of the employees performed their job well but many of them were simply insubordinate. Often employees would blatantly refuse to do their... particular work assignment or their responsibilities were conveniently ignored. Reporting the unprofessional behavior and conduct of the employees to "the executive team" was a complete waste of time. I, literally, dreaded walking into this place most days. It seemed as if many of the long-time employees had turned into human robots as if they had received a retail lobotomy. This was the worst employment experience of my entire career. I have no plans to ever enter a Von Maur store again, besides I couldn't afford their bloated prices anyway even with a discount. Von Maur can be a pleasant place to shop but it can potentially be a horrible place to work at.

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    Advice to Management

    Ask yourselves why the turnover rate is so high and why people look completely brain dead. Include the department managers while conducting your interviews of potential hourly employees because the DM will be the person supervising the new hire on a daily basis. Ask for feedback from your people, even if they do it anonymously. Get rid of the TESS scheduling system.

    Von Maur2016-07-25
  9. Helpful (7)

    "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur

    Pros

    This will be the most HONEST review anyone reads. I was an associate in the Juniors department in Glenview. Pay was great for the regular associate role. I received 11/hr with 1% commission (each department varies) as well as time and a half every Sunday I worked. Since the company is family owned, you have the pleasure of not working crazy Black Friday hours and the store is closed on many major holidays.You also... are allowed to have one weekend off every month, which you are able to chose. The atmosphere is nice and calming and customers are not that bad, at least in the store I worked at. When you get hired, at VM they really push you to engage with customers. You will end up doing a lot for them, especially in the fitting rooms and over the phone. This store is definitely a "never tell the customer NO."Despite the fact they abuse return policies and price adjustments all the time. On the subject of customers, these people are very needy. They want opinions and suggestions to the point where it makes you wonder if they have ever dressed themselves. Its quiet ridiculous. But my point, expect to be of assistance to the customers. Some more than others.

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    Cons

    Now, time for the bad. Von Maur does not have enough business at all. I know there are some busy stores, but many aren't very profitable. This would not matter to me, especially since the pay is great, but you will have an HOURLY SALES GOAL. with low business, it is not easy to make this goal every hour. Goals range from 100-225 depending on which department as well as the time of year. So maybe during the holidays... the goal is higher compared to a slow times in retail. You will be evaluated on your sales with the floor manager and your department manager. Von maur makes employees go through a "semester" at the end of it, you be given an average on your sales and this number has to meet or exceed the hourly sales goal. You can get fired for not making your goal multiple times. this is the worst part of the job. Regardless if you provide great customer service, come to work on time, etc.. Another thing I could care less for is the dress code, men must be in suits and ties and "Well groomed" woman are not allowed to wear pants. knee length dresses or skirts AND HOSIERY must be worn at all times. With gender and gender roles being so relevant in the news lately, this dress code is way 1950s. Von maur needs to get in the 21st century and realize that this is wrong....WOMEN CANT WEAR DRESS PANTS??? Give me a break. Anyway, you will also have to promote their interest free credit card and have a goal to open 1 account per month, which is achievable. Von Maur also have "Follow up" training. This in one word is: BS. Follow up training is pretty much a binder they give you to create clientele. You will have goals for this book as well. You need to have a certain amount of contacts per "semester." This isn't harsh because this is something that can be BS'd. Just copy all the information from charge sends and you'll be good. Its unrealistic to expect people to give you their address, number, etc because they want to hear about what came in the shipment truck.

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    Advice to Management

    I found upper management to be fake. As if they were their own high school clique.I tok a strong disliking towards the floor manager because she always talked down to me as if I was some peasant. My department manager was good.

    Von Maur2016-04-28
  10. Helpful (3)

    "Lack of customers in the store means management has more time to nit-pick"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cosmetics Counter Manager in Atlanta, GA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Von Maur full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Pay is pretty good, nicest bathrooms in the mall, nice selection of merchandise.

    Cons

    The "Rookie DM training" is a joke. This is what all new department managers and counter managers go through. Its not about how to run a business, but instead about the basics of customer service, and things a manger obviously should know already. The department managers act as bullies, that don't actually have anything to do besides watch you work and gossip. Department and counter managers cannot change the... schedule, cannot views numbers, cannot view returns. You literally have no clue where you stand until you have a review. Department managers do your reviews, so if they don't like you they can put in several categories that you have a bad attitude and give you a failed review. There is no system of checks and balances, to retain quality people. The clientele system is outdated. It is literally a stack of paper files of client addresses just hanging out on someone's counter. Floor managers have all the power, and they can boss you around and reprimand you on things that are petty, even if you have witnesses. Department managers tell floor managers every question you ask, and every little thing you do. If you try to move product and visuals around at your counter, it will be a big deal and its like you don't have the authority. A counter manager title means nothing. Most of the staff are unhappy. Loss prevention watches staff more than customers and keeps track of how many times you go to the bathroom, and who you talk to. The store I worked at had a rat problem. Management thought it was funny, and even made up a name for the rat. Customers can return just about anything, which means they often get away with fraudulent returns, such as returning bottles of cosmetics, where they original product had been taken out, and the container is refilled with something cheaper, which hurts employee numbers. The windows in the break room are up very high like a prison.

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    Advice to Management

    Get your act together and stop treating your employees like dirt, and stop gossiping. Also a real clientele system on the POS would be a valuable tool. Also, actual management training.

    Von Maur2016-06-11
Found 864 reviews